January in Wisconsin can be compared to living in the frozen tundra. It’s cold, really cold, which is one of the reasons we like blankets so much. But how do you clean them? Let’s take a look at the different ways to clean a blanket, based on blanket type (electric vs. non electric) and fabric type.

The first thing we recommend with any blanket is following the instructions on the care label. If it’s a fabric that’s machine washable, go for it! But if it’s king sized, and too big for your washing machine or dryer, bring it to your local Klinke dry cleaners. We’ll be happy to make it comfy, cozy and free of dirt, dust and germs.

Cleaning Non-electric Blankets
Blankets that can be machine-washed should be cleaned on a gentle cycle in cold to warm water. Line dry or tumble dry on low setting. Most blankets can also be taken to the dry cleaners (except for electric blankets, which can be damaged by drycleaning).

Cleaning Electric Blankets
As mentioned above, first check the care label on the blanket. If there is no care label, the next step would be to check on the manufacturer’s website, or call their customer service line for cleaning suggestions.

If these options don’t help, here are general instructions for cleaning your electric blanket.

Begin by unplugging the blanket. Next, lay it flat and check for weak or damaged areas. Be sure to examine both sides to ensure there are no wires protruding from the material, and that there are no areas where the fabric has become thin (which means it might tear in the wash).

If everything looks good, remove the control box and cord from the blanket. These cannot be washed under any conditions! Place your blanket in the washing machine. Use mild detergent and set the controls to delicate cycle using cold water. Allow the machine to fill with water and agitate for a few minutes.

It’s not always necessary to wash an electric blanket for an entire washing cycle. The agitation can be damaging to delicate wires and inner components. So after about 5-10 minutes, stop the wash cycle and manually advance the washing machine to the rinse cycle and let it complete. Air dry completely before reattaching controls and power cord.

Cleaning Wool Blankets
Wool typically needs more delicate handling when cleaning. Wool blankets require special precautions because hot water or high drying temperatures can cause them to shrink, become rigid and rough. If the care label suggests, machine wash only in cold water on a gentle cycle with mild detergent, and line dry or tumble dry on low. Many people prefer to take wool blankets to their dry cleaner to avoid damage or shrinkage.

We hope these care instructions help keep your blankets clean and cozy. Stay warm!